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A school district in California voted unanimously to defy the state’s pending COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students and staff.
The Board of Trustees of the Calaveras Unified School District, which is comprised of ten schools and serves more than 2,800 students, voted 5-0 not to “support, enforce or comply with” the mandate, which is still pending. The board announced its decision to parents via Facebook. The vote applies to both students and staff. The board also moved to put the topics of mask mandates and testing protocols for COVID-19 on the agenda for the board’s upcoming meeting on November 23.
The school board had previously announced their rejection of the mandate and their intention to hold a vote on the issue in a letter to families and staff on November 4. “The board’s informal comments regarding the pending state mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations, as expressed by them individually and collectively at the October 19th Board Meeting, indicated that they have concerns and questions about the COVID-19 mandate for staff and students and they do not support the mandate,” the letter said.
“The board is aware of the potential impacts on the district in terms of possible liability exposure, funding loss, other formal actions that can be taken against the district in response—and they understand the Superintendent’s recommendation for mandate compliance based upon these potential consequences—but they feel strong in their individual positions on this topic, as expressed on October 19th and as will be discussed on November 9th, when their vote will determine the position and direction of the district on this matter.”
News of the district’s refusal to comply with the mandate comes as federal regulators issued an emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine on October 29, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the vaccine on November 2. The child dose is approximately one third the dosage of the Pfizer vaccine already available to adults and children over the age of 12. According to CNBC, Pfizer “said its low-dose vaccine for kids, which is a third of the dosage given to adults, is more than 90% effective in preventing asymptomatic infection. It also said the shots were well tolerated in young children, producing side effects comparable with those seen in a study of people ages 16 to 25.”
As previously reported by The Daily Wire, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on October 1 that his state would be the first state to impose a vaccine mandate on all public and private school students. The Los Angeles Times reported at the time that the mandate would go into effect for students in 7th through 12th grades after the vaccine was approved for children ages 12 and up, and for students in kindergarten through 6th grade after the vaccine was approved for children 5-11.